Fantasy hockey – Top ten players who impressed in the preseason
Of course, this is the period of experimentation, and no, points don’t count, but that brief period before it all starts to matter is still meaningful to invested fantasy managers. In addition to getting a sense of who is “in the best shape of their lives”, we get insight into the direction of coaches in assembling roster and overall player use. At least to begin with. With that in mind, here are 10 players – mostly fantasy liners – who have surpassed my pre-preseason expectations.
Kaapo Kakko, F, New York Rangers: You can feel the breakout before the puck even lands in the first of 82. For starters, the not yet 21-year-old showed marked improvement in his entire game from year one to year two, dropping from under- 26 to more. -Three. Second, Kakko could now benefit from playing under coach Gerard Gallant, who is recognized as one of the best tutors in player development.
More importantly, in its third full season, the second draft selection (2019) plans to compete on a scoring unit with Artemi Panarin. At least that’s how it goes in the preseason, in which Kakko averaged one point / game (before Saturday).
Vladimir Tarasenko, F, St. Louis Blues: While not seemingly gloating, the power forward doesn’t look miserable at all heading into his tenth season with the Blues. Happy, even. Remarkable, because the relationship between the player and the club appeared beyond tension, even irrevocable breakup, not so long ago. Great. Now paired with Robert Thomas and a rotation of opposing winger – this is St. Louis – Blues veteran looks good, apparently feels good (which is huge) and has three points to show for three preseason contests before Friday night. Who knows how well the shoulder holds up, but it’s in Tarasenko’s best interests to have a productive campaign if he still wants to be traded, or to sign another lucrative NHL contract beyond 2023. The The 29-year-old’s resume suggests he’s worth a flyer fantasy anyway.
Jakub Voracek, F, Columbus Blue Jackets: After a decade in Philly, his U-turn to Columbus seemed successful from the first stages. Competing on a top line with Patrick Laine – himself set for a Renaissance after last year’s disastrous performance – and imposing two-way cross Boone Jenner, Voracek has seven (!) Points to show for just three preseason contests, most relying on power play.
Even though it seems like he’s been around forever, Voracek is still only 32 years old and still has plenty of gas in his tank. Playing with Laine and Jenner, and under the guidance of rookie coach Brad Larsen, the former point plus / game player could once again beat 80. Fancy managers shouldn’t sleep on this refreshed prolific former commodity.
Jared McCann, F, Seattle Kraken: Someone has yet to score for the otherwise solidly built Kraken, and McCann emerges as one of the prime contenders in that regard. Skating with Jaden Schwartz and Jordan Eberle, the Seattle No.1 center contributed two goals and three assists to the line’s 14 points in four preseason games. More promising, McCann has just completed his most productive campaign to date, collecting 32 points in 43 games for his former club the Penguins.
You may recall that a modest contributor with Columbus, William Karlsson scored 43 goals and 35 assists as a first center with the all-new Golden Knights in 2017-18. We don’t have the right to be surprised if the 25-year-old Kraken pivot matches that precedent this time around.
Tyler Johnson, F, Chicago Blackhawks: So much for Kirby Dach who has centered the first line of Chicago, at least right away. With Dach initially settling on the Third Unit, Gig # 1 has apparently fallen into the hands of the former Lightning striker and so far so good. No matter how long the setup takes (maybe a long time), Johnson will not be able to not scored points between Patrick Kane and Alex DeBrincat, especially with the man advantage.
Used to scoring, the nine-year veteran and two-time Stanley Cup champion has seen his roster dwindle with a talented Tampa team in recent campaigns. Judging by the way Jeremy Colliton has used him this preseason, Johnson is set to see a surge, paying fantastic big dividends.
Owen Tippett, F, Florida Panthers: There appears to be a new top six forward at Sunrise, and he’s barely a sophomore. For starters, Jonathan Huberdeau and Sam Bennett can’t say enough about their new and young teammate, relying on terms like “instant chemistry” and “high cap” (Bennett: “I love playing with him.” ) Collecting three goals and two assists in four preseason competitions, Tippett is about to stand out. After averaging 0.87 points per game in the AHL the previous season, the 22-year-old held his own in 45 NHL games last year with seven goals and 11 assists in 45 games. It could serve as an ultra-fantastic steal in later rounds of your draft.
Christian Dvorak, F, Montreal Canadiens: Forging a quick chemistry with new teammates Jonathan Drouin and Josh Anderson, the former Coyote notched two goals and three assists in three games heading into Wednesday’s season opener. The trio totaled 13 points, most counting with the additional skater. I really like this line, as the second scoring line (1b?) Power play unit behind Nick Suzuki, Tyler Toffoli and rookie Cole Caufield. Not only do they bring different individual strengths to the ice, but they may not have as much to deal with high-profile opposing players as Suzuki and Co. After five campaigns in the desert, Dvorak is able to publish. serious production figures for the first time in his young career. Dormant city.
Jesse Puljujarvi, F, Edmonton Oilers: We were warned that the 23-year-old could explode in his second season of his second tour with the team that drafted him fourth overall in 2016. So far, competing alongside Connor McDavid and Zach Hyman, it was. Four goals and two assists in four games heading into Saturday’s preseason final, and Puljujarvi projects himself ready to take it to the next level after contributing 25 points in 55 games last winter / spring. Best of all maybe he smells and watches Great. This young skater will still be available after the conclusion of many fantastic drafts, even in deeper leagues, and that’s ridiculous.
New York Islanders Noah Dobson, D: Guess who anchors the Islanders’ best power play right from the gates? (And has four points to show for just two preseason games heading into Saturday’s final tilt?) He did it a lot last year, so the answer isn’t that muddled. But with Nick Leddy departing for Detroit, the role almost unquestionably belongs to the 21-year-old in the making. Placed next to uber-veteran Zdeno Chara, Dobson is also expected to see an increase in overall minutes. Best of all, there’s a good chance that this under-the-radar asset will still be available in the later stages of your fantasy project.
Jeremy Swayman, G, Boston Bruins: While earning a fraction of Linus Ullmark’s $ 5 million annual salary, Swayman has been the better of Boston’s two goalies this preseason. After strong performances against the Capitals and Flyers, the 22-year-old was outstanding in Monday’s follow-up in Philadelphia, stopping 34 of 36 in a slim 2-1 loss.
Ullmark, meanwhile, finished the preseason competition with a goals-against average of 3.90 and save percentage of 0.839. This trend continues and Swayman will quickly become Bruce Cassidy’s preferred net pick no matter how much the Bruins pay their No.1 draft. Remember, despite limited experience, Swayman has been mostly superb in his 10 games. to conclude 2020- 21.
See also: Hampus Lindholm, D, Anaheim Ducks; Mats Zuccarello, F, Minnesota Wild; Robby Fabbri, F, Detroit Red Wings; Casey Mittelstadt, F, Buffalo Sabers; Michael Bunting, F, Toronto Maple Leafs; Corey Perry, F, Tampa Bay Lightning; Dan Vladar, G, Calgary Flames; Braden Holtby, G, Dallas Stars; William Eklund, F, Sharks of San JosÃ©